“He Can Win Without …”

April 11th, 2014

The Lovie way will immediately reign in the NFC South, says Willie McGinest and Rod Woodson.

Wow! There were two loud flags planted on planet Lovie yesterday on NFL Network.

Yes, prominent experts have examined the Panthers, Falcons, Bucs and Saints and declared the Buccaneers champions of the NFC South in 2014.

Sorry, but Joe is somewhat flabbergasted by the takes of Willie McGinest and Rod Woodson. You can watch the NFL Network cut here.

McGinest says Lovie has won repeatedly with a second rate offenses and strong defense, and McGinest expects to see that happen again — immediately. “He can win without” offense, McGinest claims.

Woodson cites the addition of offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford and Lovie’s track record for his proclamation of the Bucs winning the NFC South crown this season.

Joe hates to urinate on the hopes and dreams of Bucs fans, but the Bucs still have loads of work to do in order to become NFC South champs. Joe buys into Lovie’s theory that a turnover-machine defense and electric special teams can win you 10 games alone, without a good offense. But the Bucs’ special teams are a question mark, more help might be needed at defensive end and cornerback, and journeyman Josh McCown is the captain of a receiver-challenged offense.

Regardless, in the 12-year history of the NFC South, a team with 10 wins or less only has won the division two times. The last time was the Bucs at 9-7 in 2007. Are the Bucs really an 11-win team this year? Wishful thinking at this point.

Joe gets that predictions are part of the media business, but they’re downright goofy before the draft and picking the Bucs now feels wacky.

69 Responses to ““He Can Win Without …””

  1. PRBucFan Says:

    God forbid anything positive about the Bucs comes out lol

  2. BUCFAN4LIFE Says:

    Joe, I am so proud of you for writing an article that’s not about Manziel. You are making progress and are on the road to recovery. Don’t let those instrusive thoughts about Manziel come back to you.

  3. deminion Says:

    NFC south champs 2014!!!

  4. Macabee Says:

    I don’t know for sure that we win the NFC-South, but we will be an improved team especially on defense. We have every right to believe we will be contenders by the mere fact that we have coaches that have won in the NFL. It doesn’t hurt to have good players either and every effort is being expended to do that. So, I’m optimistic and bullish on the Bucs!

  5. ElioT Says:

    Well one thing will happen regardless…

    The BUCS won’t get out coached every single week like they have for the last five years!

    Go Bucs!

  6. ElioT Says:

    Oh wait, I’m sorry.They still have to “worst QB in the division”…

    They’re going to suck!

  7. Bucfan#37 Says:

    Yeah, the Bucs are going to win every game they win 2 or 3 to nothing.

  8. bucrightoff Says:

    Eeassssy now. The Bucs are still at best the third best team in the division. nd if Atlanta rebounds, could be 4th again. And then there’s Arizona, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit…NFC is a monster. Bucs might be better, but the NFC is still insane. And with all these new pieces? I think 2015 is a much more realistic view of a return to the playoffs.

  9. Jonny 2.3 Says:

    @BUCFAN4LIFE: LOL, your comment caught me off guard.

  10. Ernest T. Bass Says:

    Our defense will be solid. If you listen to the players interviews i.e VJax, EDS, and Doug the offense will do a little of everything. If our offense is unpredictable, we should score in the 20’s. I’ll take our D holding the opponent to 17.

  11. snook Says:

    Did anyone predict the Panthers would win the division last season?

    Not sure, but they were coming off a 2012 season that featured a top-10 defense and there was continuity after a decent finish. A little more to go on, but Joe surely would have bet against the addition of Mike Shula. –Joe

  12. ander Says:

    I definitely could see the bucs turn this thing around this year go bucs

  13. Bobby M. Says:

    It will be interesting to see if that theory holds up in a league that has stacked the deck in favor of the offense.

  14. Bill Byrne Says:

    As of this date, the Panthers have moved back, the Saints are without Sproles and a frustrated Jimmy Graham and the Falcons are still trying to build both lines. The BUCS coaching changes, front office people and players positive attitude followed by a successful draft could easily move the BUCS into a division title opportunity. What am I missing?

  15. Buc1987 Says:


  16. BirdDoggers Says:

    A good defense is key to reaching he playoffs and ultimately succeeding in the playoffs. The problem is having the mindset that the defense is the absolute focus and the offense is an afterthought. Lovie would’ve had much more success in Chicago if he was able to field a consistently decent offense. He might even have a Super Bowl ring. There’s no question he’s capable of fielding a stout defense. Did he learn enough from his past gig to understand that a bottom rung offense won’t cut it in todays NFL? If the defense is stout and the offense is even middle of the pack, the Bucs can absolutely compete in the NFC South.

  17. Mitch Says:

    why is it so hard to see the bucs winning the division? Any given Sunday is just as applicable to a given season…Granted it took coach Vermeil three seasons at the helm but Case and point: Rams 1998 went 4-12 & the following season went 13-3 & winning the super bowl. That team entered the 1999 season with just as many questions as we are facing today! A Journeyman QB in Warner( McCown) , young un-proven left tackle in pace ( Collins), stud RB in Faulk ( Martin), a solid vet receiver in Bruce( Jackson) & rookie wide receiver Holt(We will draft one). On defense they had a Stud LB in L. Fletcher( David, foster), Kevin Carter @ End (Johnson) & the dependable Todd Lyght at CB(Verner). Can you not see the similarities?!?!

  18. Mitch Says:


  19. BucNasty!!! Says:

    Your missing the fact ppl only find us relevant when they think we are,terrible. Ppl fail to realize how other teams n the,south have gotten worse they see us as a qbless team with no star power except McCoy

  20. bucsQcCity Says:

    I’m wondering if Joe will turn positive if we draft Johnny Football because all I see on the site is negative press about everything.

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    Mitch- I’m with you on this one. I’m taking the “glass half full” mentality. Look at KC last year, another good example of a change in mindset.
    We have good pieces on both sides of the ball. I think at this point it is just a matter of marination and philosophy.
    Go Bucs!

  22. William Says:

    If Tedford causes delays on opposing defenses to figure us out and pull a couple of wins for us, I see the possibilities.

    The draft will bring the emmunition we need on offense and probably special teams…


    At 5-3 mid season…

    What if Johnny is ask to start in November due to injury to McCown, and with a couple of solid receivers for the 2nd and 3rd positions, can you see us winning the division?

  23. snook Says:

    True, Joe. But their offense only gained 600 yards more than the Bucs. They won in spite of their offense.

    Terrible offense. Great defense. Sounds familiar.

  24. snook Says:

    If we get Johnny Football and our defense continues to improve and Lovie let’s them loose, we can win the division.

    The Falcons aren’t much better than their 4-12 team and Carolinas offense is garbage. And throwing against 50 year old Champ Bailey on the Saints isn’t scaring anyone.

  25. Macabee Says:

    I think pretty much everybody agrees that the Seahawks won the Super Bowl with defense last year. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the Ravens and the Giants last Super Bowls were won with defense also. I don’t think the Ravens ever won a Super Bowl without defense. Defense is not dead yet!

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Short-sighted fans.

    I, for one, do not one winning season. I want more. I want to consistently compete for the division, and by the way this team is built right now, it won’t.

    Saints are good because of Brees. Panthers are the best defense in the division, plus they have Newton. The Falcons had one down year. No way do they not turn it around again.

  27. Kramden Says:

    Worst-to-first a common occurrence in the division – not so far fetched. Plus, relax Joe – L&L are not even close to being done with their roster. I’d say now on paper the prediction may be a bit far-fetched, but come first week in September, it probably won’t be that far-fetched.

  28. mpmalloy Says:


    Joe, I am so proud of you for writing an article that’s not about Manziel. You are making progress and are on the road to recovery. Don’t let those instrusive thoughts about Manziel come back to you.

    Don’t let the Joes fool you. EVERYTHING is about Manziel.
    This is a veiled plea for the Bucs to keep investing in offense,
    specifically to invest in a QB “upgrade”.
    Namely, Johnathon M. Footaball.

  29. Jordan Says:

    Please stop using “yards” as your basis for offensive and defensive rankings. This is a perfect example of skewing statistics to your favor. This is not fantasy football. No team earns .1 points for every rushing yard. In addition, the NFL, in it’s tie-breaking procedures, includes 5 procedures which take into account a team’s points scored, points allowed, and TDs scored. Not a single mention of yards. Carolina was not a top-10 defense in 2012. Carolina ranked 18th in defense and 18th in offense.

  30. Jordan Says:

    Additionally, Glennon did not lead the 32nd ranked offense. The Bucs were the 30th ranked offense, Mike Glennon during his 13 starts averaged 20.3 ppg, which would put the Bucs as the 24th ranked offense. Not good. Certainly not good enough to make the playoffs.

  31. Big Rob Says:

    Quick Joe. Off the top of your head, who was #2 to VJax in San Diego? Anyone?

  32. tmaxcon Says:

    Big rod

    San Diego is unique they had a bunch of random receivers while Jackson was their that being said antonio gates was a stud an arguably their number 1 receiver. They also had a great offensive mind in norv turner. What’s your point curious here.

  33. DallasBuc Says:

    Who cares about predictions in April? The things that get some of you excited is funny and a bit sad

  34. Macabee Says:

    Big Rob,

    WRs Malcolm Floyd or Chris Chambers. Gates was also a big weapon at TE.

  35. SAMCRO Says:

    Let’s make it through the preseason first. I have no doubt that some of our marquee players will be lost for the season before the first game starts. We have a group of capable starters but after that we are thin in depth. If we can get into the regular season with our best players still intact, then we’ll have as good a shot as our division foes, but if we lose players with our tough schedule ahead we may never get out of the cellar.

  36. Josh P. Says:

    @Jordan: when your averaging 200 yards a game and 6.2 yard per completion i would say you are the reason for averaging 20 points a game. 2 two of those games had def TD. I’m pretty sure you didn’t take those into consideration

  37. Josh P. Says:

    ^^^ You are not the reason for averaging 20 points a game.

  38. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I really don’t like any predictions when the roster isn’t even close to being set. We could have as many as 5 or 6 starters that aren’t even on the roster yet, so how exactly can anyone gauge how good any team is going to be? Makes no sense to me whatsoever. The only teams I can see making any kind of predictions for are the Denvers, Seattles, Patriots, etc. – the teams that pretty much have their roster set now at key positions.

    If we don’t get a true #2 WR, then we’re going to be in trouble. If we don’t at least add some depth on the OL, we’re going to be in trouble. However, if we do and we are able to stay healthy, I think we could be pretty damn good. Regardless, it’s way to early to predict anything at this juncture. Let’s at least wait until the draft.

  39. owlykat Says:

    Can the Bucs win our Division? Lets wait and see if Licht uses 7 on a QB or not. If he does, the answer is yes, because I know he will do a good job in picking the rest of the players in the draft. We will have a very tough Defense as long as we move Foster to SLB and draft a great MLB like Michigan State’s MLB. With our best Place Kicker back we will be tough on Special Teams Too. As Lovie says that will give you 10 wins. If we get Bortles or Carr, we will trade off Glennon, and if we give Tedford just three fourths of the season he will develop our new QB to be able to win consistently for us on Offense. If Josh is as good as Johnson who won a SB for us, that will be great. If not we will be able to turn it over to our star QB who can pass us to the top of our Division and beyond.

  40. Jordan Says:

    @Josh P. – when accounting for defensive TDs, Glennon’s Bucs move from 24th to 23rd in scoring. Take a look at the Chiefs and you will notice they ranked 6th in scoring, yet they average just 208 yards per game in the air to go along with a 6.52 ypa.

  41. pick6 Says:

    that should get some eyeballs, twitter traffic, and get other NFC south fans hitting the NFL.com comment section. that’s the objective this time of year. CAN the bucs win the division? yes, it seems like worst to first is more the rule than the exception in the NFC South. Do they merit a 1st place projection? absolutely not. a healthy falcons team, the always consistent payton\brees combo in NY, and an ascending Panthers squad with a stifling defense….we definitely need to earn some respect on the field before any serious projections for us to outplay our rivals this year

  42. Josh P. Says:

    @Jordan You can’t just use Glennon’s 13 games of OFF and insert it into the overall rankings from the other 31 teams 16 game season. Doesn’t quite work like that. And the majority of those points came from either the run game or were set up by the run game. The dude had 90 yards passing and was 6 of 24 agains the Bills… We as a football nation ran Tebow out of the league for numbers like this.

  43. kevin Says:

    I would bet money any day our defense dominates the nfc south rankings by FAR!!!!!

  44. bucstop.com Says:

    The state of this franchise is a lot poorer than most people realize. We have virtually no foundation right now, and were hoping these free agents will work out by plugging the holes of vacant draft picks as we have only one from 2010 and beyond. While I think the Bucs will have winning records 2 of the next 3 years, I think it will take 3 years until the ’12, ’13 and future draft picks start to develop and become the core Bucs like Sapp, Brooks, Barber, Lynch, and Alstott were. Look at every repeating winning organization, and they have a core. We don’t. We can still win, but were looking at 9-7/10-6 tops for the next few years. It will be that long until we can expect any 11-5 or 12-4 seasons. imo

  45. brandonbucfan Says:

    11 wins? HA! I am a BUC fan..go through their opponents and PLEASE show me better than 7-9. I dare you.. And guess what..I could live with that because I believe in L&L and maybe more importantly in the STAFF. Think What our past two HC’s brought in …No comparison. GO BUCS..Luv ya and will live with ups and downs this year.

  46. MegaDaveUK Says:

    Please no Johnny Football

  47. MegaDaveUK Says:


    While I agree with you to an extent on high aspirations of 12-4 being silly, you said there is no foundation with this team.

    Gerald McCoy
    Larry D
    Mark Barron AND Dashon Goldson

    How is that NOT a foundation for success? If you add a stud defensive end at #7, you already have a spunky guy with Spence at DT and with the addition of a Superbowl winning DT in McDonald, you have a defense that is going to dominate.

    Offense = ? + Muscle Hamster

  48. Jordan Says:

    @Josh P. – Yes I can insert his numbers into a full 16 game season. As long as one’s sample size is large enough (Glennon started 80% of a season), then you can extrapolate the data to fit a full season when measuring a “rate stat”. Based on your weak argument that the Bucs “amazing”run game (6 TD 3.8 ypc) is why Glennon even had some success, I can assume that you are the type of moron who would say “we as a football nation ran Tebow out of the league”.

  49. Patrick Says:

    We had a 27th ranked offense with Glennon; 32nd is when you include Freeman’s nightmare performances. I wish the Glennon bashers would get that stat right.

  50. Destinjohnny Says:

    Saints 11-5
    Panthers 9-6
    Atl 8-8
    Good guys 7-9

  51. tmaxcon Says:

    glennon mob needs to just stop it with the bogus awards (rookie qb of year) and twisted and skewed stats… He led the WORST OFFENSE in NFL. Simple as that sugar coat it anyway you want. He is not the answer accept it. he will not be on the opening day roster. write that down and hold me too it. He will be a 10 to 12 year backup for some other team.

  52. Patrick Says:

    @tmaxcon……..Glennon didn’t lead us to the worst offense in the NFL, enough with the BS. A 10 or 12 year backup? Where’s the crystal ball? I would love to see it! God you sure are a know it all.

  53. tmaxcon Says:


    so you having the opinion he is the answer and will be our starting qb is not being a no it all. are you glennon’s brother… every comment on here is an opinion regardless of how important some of the poster think they are. You are on one side of the coin and I am on the other. It’s been 12 long years and I am tired of mediocre qb play and sorry but your boy is mediocre at best. what was the bucs final offensive ranking and who was the starting qb at the end of the season. who faltered down the stretch badly once teams had tape on him. GLENNON… I respect your loyalty however blind it is. I hope you have not invested too much in bucs gear when you have to switch teams when you boy is gone.

  54. Couch Fan Says:


    You sure do have to make up a lot of stuff that nobody has said just to continue your hateful rants.

  55. Eric Says:

    Lovie Smith is more than capable of coaching up a Division Title.

  56. Patrick Says:

    @tmaxcon……..now you’re the one who’s twisting things around…..I never said anywhere that Glennon WAS the answer at QB but I think he has potential and damn well deserves a chance to compete for a starting job. Go outside of Tampa and you’ll find that a lot of people say good things about him; but on this site there’s just endless bashing on the kid. It puzzles me how you along with several others on this site look at him as such a HORRIBLE quarterback and can’t see the promise he showed last year. No offensive line, down to the 3rd string RB, an inept offensive coordinator, the Schiano/Freeman fiasco……the entire team was a mess last year. The last time I checked it’s a team game and Glennon shouldn’t absorb all the blame. I thought he was solid. 19 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 60% completion rate…….. that’s much better than Freeman’s rookie campaign. Glennon was a rookie and I think you would even agree that he played far better than any of us expected. What did you expect him to do, come in and play like Peyton Manning right away?

  57. tmaxcon Says:

    Those are all great excuses. The old saying the qb and coach receive too much crap when they lose and too much glory when they win. I wish him well. I just don’t see the same potential you do that being the only opinion that matters is Lovie’s. I will pull for him he is a Buc but I believe the best value for Tampa is to trade him.

  58. tmaxcon Says:


    I have not made up a single point. I want to win nothing hateful about wanting to upgrade talent on a team that has not won anything significant in 12 years. I respect your loyalty to a player that being said my loyalty is team first players come and go. Just be clear opinions are not made up they are opinions. I just happen not to agree with yours that is not hate sir that is a difference of opinions.

  59. Patrick Says:

    YOU think they’re excuses, but they’re all facts. It’s a FACT that our O line sucked, our 3rd string QB sucked, and that Sullivan was a joke as a play caller. The stats of his that I pulled up are what they are.

    I didn’t see the widespread hate for Josh Freeman after his horrible 2009 season. That’s simply because he was a 1st round pick and we had a lot invested in him. Glennon is a 3rd rounder so that changes everything in y’alls opinion. Tossing him to the curb wouldn’t be a big deal in your eyes. As of right now, he’s a much better value pick (as a 3rd rounder) than Freeman was.

    Why don’t you elaborate a little more as to why you think Glennon is so dreadful instead of just spewing the worn out “we had the worst offense under him” (not even true) phrase?

  60. Patrick Says:

    *MEANT to say we were down to our 3rd string RB

  61. tmaxcon Says:

    Patrick there is 32 teams and the bucs finished 32nd sorry but I will not calculate stats the same way you are. I want a qb with athletic ability and star power or the IT factor it does make a difference. I think Glennon has some positive traits but I don’t feel he has the athletic ability or is capable of making players around him better. Your entitled to your opinion and if it turns out Lovie thinks Glennon is the bucs best chance to win I’ll support him until proven otherwise. I think the point your missing is I could care less about individual players unless they can help win games. In my opinion Glennon could help team win as a backup not a starter. My trade Glennon rants are based on the fact Lovie more than once has stated he only wants two qbs which I agree with therefore McCown job is safe has the bridge / mentor role and the drafted qb will be back up until he starts. So using that logic trade him get something now versus cutting him or having him snagged of practice squad. We all will know Glennon fare draft day.

  62. Patrick Says:

    The only way I would support a Glennon trade is if we drafted Manziel or Murray in the later rounds. In my opinion, those are the only quarterbacks worth taking in the draft. Bortles and Bridgewater don’t excite me much. Manziel is a risk I can agree with that but knowing our luck, I feel like he’ll go on to star for another franchise if we pass on him. So far I’ve been impressed with him and think he’s continued to mature finely. As for McCown, 11 of his 12 seasons have been horrible. There’s plenty of quarterbacks that have had fluke seasons (Josh Freeman, Derek Anderson) and then descend into a downward spiral afterwards. I’m not a big fan of his signing as of right now.

  63. lurker Says:

    “our 3rd string QB sucked”

    lol, Freudian slip. we now know how u truly feel.

  64. tmaxcon Says:

    Patrick I agree 100% with your last post. I too like Murray and am not sold on the either bridgewater or bortles. You are dead on with the McCown analysis and that being said Lovie clearly sees him as the mentor or bridge role which I think he offers more to a young qb being groomed to start than glennon does based on experiences both on and off the field. The other qb that keeps getting mentioned is Jimmy Garoppolo which I like but do not like. I think he will take longer to develop into a starer than Manziel. With the rookie contracts basically being fixed amount it’s no longer cap hell if you guess wrong with a first round pick so I say grab Manziel. The bucs need picks to shore up the offensive line. I guess they can do that with undrafted free agents but that is a bigger gamble in my opinion. Then there will be the post draft and training camp releases too but again its more risky than grabbing what you want in the draft.

  65. stillwantingSB Says:

    Josh P. Says:
    April 11th, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    We as a football nation ran Tebow out of the league for numbers like this.


    You sure it wasn’t because of his Christianity?

    IMO John Elway didn’t like him because he was getting to be more popular than him and Peyton said he would come if Tebow was gone. Of course that was before he took down a retired Jersey # of a man dieing with Alzheimers. Another great QB don’t you say ?

  66. Josh P Says:

    @Jordan When you are trying to prove a statistical point and COMPARING it to other teams you can’t just assume his numbers would have been the same when camparing different amounts. Too many variables. This isn’t Family Feud prick and your boy wonder ranked 37th in the league in yards per attempt. 37th!!!! That’s lower than Ponder, Cassell, Campbell, Keenum. So you keep going to your little thesaurus because it makes you feel smart when you use words like “extrapolate”. I know of two people that use words like this, Statistician and virgins, i’m going to say you’re the later. As for the Tebow deal, i could careless about Tebow or whether he’s in the league or not, but the guy had twice as many wins in his first 13 starts as the human tooth pick with the same god aweful numbers, and i’m pretty sure the ultimate goal is the W. And yes “football nation”, “fan base” what ever makes you feel good inside, is what ran Tebow out of the league for the same numbers that guys like Glennon, Ponder, and Campbell still have jobs for. Go extrapolate why you still can’t get laid.

  67. tmaxcon Says:


    it had nothing to do with Christianity. Playing the religious persecution card is no different than playing the race card. TEBOW sucked as a QB and would not change positions that is why he is out of the league. I hate when people blame religion and race it’s a flat out joke.

    Having lived on and off in denver for the last 10 years there is no one more popular than Elway and there never will be. If you think for a minute Elway was concerned about popularity you should do a little research on his various business success. Not to mention the man is a hall of famer with 2 super bowl rings. How in the hell can your compare them. Tebow was great college QB that did not translate to the pros. All this Gaytor fans need to accept reality just like the MOB…

  68. NY Buc Says:

    I think I’ve finally figured it out, a lot of the guys bashing Glennon for a solid performance all things considered are actually fans of other teams hoping they can convince the Bucs to trade Glennon to their QB-less teams (Jaguars?). Only logical thing considering there seems to be so much reluctance to look at the big picture of entire team and how Glennon performed last season.

  69. BoJim Says:

    The bashers just won’t admit to what Glennon had to work with last year. It’s all his fault. He should’ve won every frickin game by himself. And y’all think we are morons?

    Hey. How bout that Manning in the SB this year. How’d it work out for the best QB in the NFL? He didn’t seem to make everyone around him better. In fact, the whole team sucked. But but but……phftt.